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Lebanon: Premier Saad Hariri “Suspends” Resignation After Return to Beirut

HeadlineNov 22, 2017
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In Lebanon, Prime Minister Saad Hariri said today he is “suspending” his decision to resign from office, two weeks after he stunned Lebanon by announcing from Saudi Arabia that he was stepping aside due to unspecified concerns over his personal security. Hariri made the announcement after returning to Lebanon for the first time in weeks.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri: “Today I presented my resignation to his excellency, President Aoun, and he asked me to temporarily suspend submitting it and to put it on hold ahead of further consultations on the reasons for it. I expressed my agreement to this request, in the hope that it will form a serious basis for a responsible dialogue.”

Lebanon’s president and others have accused Saudi Arabia of kidnapping Hariri. Hariri denies Saudi officials forced him to resign. Hariri returned to Lebanon alone, and his wife and two children are reportedly still inside of Saudi Arabia.

More Headlines fromNovember 22, 2017

Charlie Rose Out at CBS, PBS and Bloomberg over Sexual Harassment Claims

Nov 22, 2017
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CBS News has fired TV icon Charlie Rose, host of ”CBS This Morning” and “60 Minutes” correspondent, while PBS and Bloomberg say they will cancel contracts and end distribution of Charlie Rose’s programs—as more women stepped forward to accuse Rose of sexual harassment, bringing the total number of his accusers to at least 11. Rose is accused of groping women, making lewd phone calls and walking around naked or in an open bathrobe. The latest charges come from three female employees at CBS, one of whom says Rose whispered sexual innuendo in her ear while touching her inappropriately at a work event.

Trump Defends Roy Moore over Sexual Assault Claims: “He Denies It”

Nov 22, 2017
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President Donald Trump rushed to the defense of Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore Tuesday, pointing to Moore’s denials of multiple accusations of sexual assault and harassment against teenagers. Trump also said voters should reject his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.

President Donald Trump: “We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat, Jones. I’ve looked at his record. It’s terrible on crime. It’s terrible on the border. It’s terrible on the military. I can tell you for a fact, we do not need somebody that’s going to be bad on crime, bad on borders, bad with the military, bad for the Second Amendment.”

Reporter: “Mr. President, is an accused child molester better than a Democrat?”

President Donald Trump: “Well, he denies it. Look, he denies it.”

At least nine women have stepped forward to say they were sexually harassed or assaulted by Roy Moore as children or young adults, and The New Yorker reports Moore was banned from a local mall and a YMCA in Alabama because he repeatedly badgered teenage girls. Trump himself has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by at least 16 women. A leaked “Access Hollywood” video from 2005 recorded Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women, saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. … Grab ’em by the pussy.”

Disney Animation Executive John Lasseter Faces Sex Harassment Claims

Nov 22, 2017
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Walt Disney animation executive John Lasseter said Tuesday he’s taking a six-month leave of absence, saying he’d made “missteps” in the workplace that included forcing unwanted hugs on female employees. The Hollywood newspaper Variety reports a number of Lasseter’s female colleagues at Disney’s Pixar studio say he behaved inappropriately, and described a “toxic” and “sexist” workplace culture toward women.

Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team Doctor Accused of Sexual Abuse

Nov 22, 2017
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Elsewhere, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas said Tuesday she was sexually abused by her team’s doctor, Larry Nassar—becoming the third member of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team to step forward with charges. Nassar is in jail awaiting sentencing, after he pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges.

Rep. Jackie Speier Pushes ME TOO Congress Bill

Nov 22, 2017
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On Capitol Hill, Congressmember Jackie Speier says her Democratic colleague, John Conyers of Michigan, was not one of two sitting members of Congress who she knows to have engaged in sexual harassment. Speier said Tuesday she knows of at least two other lawmakers who’ve engaged in sexual harassment—one Democrat and one Republican. Rep. Conyers reportedly settled a sexual harassment complaint in 2015 with a former staffer who alleged she was fired because she rejected his sexual advances. Earlier this month, Speier accused an unnamed colleague of “exposing their genitals,” and said victims had “their private parts grabbed on the House floor.” Speier has introduced the ME TOO Congress bill to reform sexual harassment policies on Capitol Hill. Among other reforms, the bill would end a mandatory “cooling off period” before accusers could file sexual harassment claims.

FCC Chair Ajit Pai Unveils Plan to End Net Neutrality

Nov 22, 2017
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Elsewhere in Washington, D.C., FCC Chair Ajit Pai unveiled a plan Tuesday to roll back net neutrality—reversing Obama-era rules barring corporate service providers from blocking access to websites, slowing down content or providing paid fast lanes for internet service. The plan is slated to face a vote in an FCC meeting on December 14, where all three Republican-appointed commissioners on the five-member FCC support ending net neutrality. Reaction to the announcement was swift. Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps tweeted, “This is an FCC chair gone rogue. How can one person be so zealous in dismantling the entire communications ecosystem and endangering our democracy?” Net neutrality activists have launched a campaign to pressure lawmakers to intervene, and are planning protests in cities across the U.S. on December 7, when they’ll march from Verizon stores to the offices of members of Congress. We’ll have more on net neutrality later in the broadcast.

Zimbabwe: President Mugabe Resigns, Ending 37-Year Rule

Nov 22, 2017
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In Zimbabwe, longtime leader Robert Mugabe reportedly resigned Tuesday, prompting massive celebrations in the streets of the capital, Harare, and other cities. Mugabe had ruled for the last 37 years, since Zimbabwe’s independence, until he was placed under house arrest last week in an apparent military coup. In Parliament, cheers erupted Tuesday after the speaker of the National Assembly read from a resignation letter said to be written by Mugabe. Zimbabwe’s military says it has installed Mugabe’s former vice president and longtime political ally, Emmerson Mnangagwa, as interim president.

Topics:

Former Bosnian Serb Commander Ratko Mladic Found Guilty of Genocide

Nov 22, 2017
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At the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, former Bosnian Serb military general Ratko Mladic has been found guilty of genocide and other crimes, over his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo. The 74-year-old Mladic stood as Judge Alphons Orie read the charges against him.

Judge Alphons Orie: “The indictment charged two counts of genocide and five counts of crimes against humanity—namely, prosecution, murder, extermination, deportation and the inhumane act of forcible transfer.”

Just before the verdict was read, Mladic shouted and became combative, prompting the judge to clear the courtroom before rendering a guilty verdict, sentencing him to life in prison. As a military general, Ratko Mladic oversaw the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serbs in Srebrenica in 1995. It’s recognized as Europe’s single worst atrocity since the end of World War II.

Iraq: Suicide Bomber Kills 23 at Marketplace in Tuz Khurmatu

Nov 22, 2017
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In Iraq, at least 23 people were killed and scores more injured after a suicide bomber in a truck set off a massive explosion in a crowded marketplace in the northern town of Tuz Khurmatu. There’s been no claim of responsibility for the attack, which occurred as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on state television that his military had ended ISIS’s presence in Iraq.

Topics:

State Dept. Issues Saudi Arabia Travel Warning, Citing Yemeni Rebels

Nov 22, 2017
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The Trump administration is cautioning Americans against traveling to Saudi Arabia—not over the country’s abysmal human rights record, but because of the threat posed by ballistic missiles fired into the kingdom by rebels in neighboring Yemen. Tuesday’s travel warning by the State Department came just over two weeks after Houthi fighters launched a missile at the main airport in Riyadh. It was shot down and crashed in the desert.

U.K.: Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn Condemns British-Backed Saudi-Led War in Yemen

Nov 22, 2017
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The warning came as British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn condemned British support for a U.S.-and-U.K.-backed, Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen, which has killed over 10,000 people, spawned a massive cholera epidemic and put 7 million people on the brink of famine. In a public letter, Corbyn urged Prime Minister Theresa May to “lift the Saudi blockade in order to stop this already catastrophic humanitarian crisis becoming one of the worst combinations of famine and disease since the 1980s, with millions of innocent people, especially children, at risk of death.”

Haitians in U.S. Protest Trump Plans to End Protected Status

Nov 22, 2017
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Back in the United States, Haitian immigrants and their supporters are protesting the Trump administration’s move to end temporary protected status, or TPS, for nearly 60,000 Haitians, including many who came to the United States after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The decision will end a program that allows some Haitians to live and work in the U.S., and could see them face deportation by July of 2019. In Palm Beach, Florida, hundreds of protesters gathered near President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf club Tuesday. And in New York City, Haitian Americans and elected officials gathered outside a U.S. immigration office. This is New York state Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou.

Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou: “I just think it’s really inhumane and unconscionable, really, for the president of the United States to do this to folks who have, side by side, helped us to make our country better, make our country stronger. And, you know, I just hope that he will show more compassion. And I hope that our Congress will show thoughtfulness and humanity when it comes to issues like this one.”

Campaign Calls for Release of Sex Trafficking Victim Who Killed Abuser

Nov 22, 2017
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In Tennessee, campaigners are calling for the release of 25-year-old Cyntoia Brown, who was sold into sexual slavery as a child and sentenced to life in prison after she killed a man who purchased her for sex. Brown was just 16 years old in 2004, when she was forced into prostitution by a pimp nicknamed “Cut-throat,” who beat and raped her on a regular basis. In 2004, Brown was tried as an adult and convicted on murder charges, after she killed 43-year-old Johnny Allen, who took her to his home for sex. Brown says Allen was behaving erratically and owned a number of guns, and that she feared for her life when she shot him in the head and made her escape. The case has drawn widespread attention on social media under the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown. Pop superstar Rihanna wrote, “Something is horribly wrong when the system enables these rapists and the victim is thrown away for life!”

Second Judge Orders Halt to Trump’s Transgender Military Ban

Nov 22, 2017
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And a second federal judge has blocked Donald Trump’s move to bar transgender people from serving in the U.S. military, ruling that the president’s action is likely unconstitutional—and is already causing harm. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis goes further than an earlier injunction against Trump’s policy by barring the Trump administration from denying funds for gender-affirming surgeries.

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